Welcome to a new Percona Live Europe featured talk with Percona Live Europe 2016: Amsterdam speakers! In this series of blogs, we’ll highlight some of the speakers that will be at this year’s conference. We’ll also discuss the technologies and outlooks of the speakers themselves. Make sure to read to the end to get a special Percona Live Europe registration bonus!
In this Percona Live Europe featured talk, we’ll meet Manyi Lu, Director Software Development at Oracle. Her talk will be on MySQL 8.0: what’s new in Optimizer. There are substantial improvements in the optimizer in MySQL 5.7 and MySQL 8.0. Most noticeably, users can now combine relational data with NoSQL using the new JSON features. I had a chance to speak with Manyi and learn a bit more about the MySQL 8.0:
Percona: Give me a brief history of yourself: how you got into database development, where you work, what you love about it.
Manyi: Oh, my interest in database development goes way back to university almost twenty years ago. After graduation, I joined local startup Clustra and worked on the development of a highly available distributed database system for the telecom sector. Since then, I have worked on various aspects of the database, kernel, and replication. Lately I am heading the MySQL optimizer and GIS team.
What I love most about my work are the talented and dedicated people I am surrounded by, both within the team and in the MySQL community. We are passionate about building a database used by millions.
Percona: Your talk is called “MySQL 8.0: what’s new in Optimizer.” So, obvious question, what is new in the MySQL 8.0 Optimizer?
Manyi: There are a number of interesting features in 8.0. CTE or Common Table Expression has been one of the most demanded SQL features. MySQL 8.0 will support both the WITH and WITH RECURSIVE clauses. A recursive CTE is quite useful for reproducing reports based on hierarchical data. For DBAs, Invisible Index should make life easier. They can mark an index invisible to the optimizer, check the performance and then decide to either drop it or keep it. On the performance side, we have improved the performance of table scans, range scans and similar queries by batching up records read from the storage engine into the server. We have significant work happening in the cost model area. In order to produce more optimal query plans, we have started the work on adding support for histograms, and for taking into account whether data already is in memory or needs to be read from disk.
Besides the optimizer, my team is also putting a major effort into utf8mb4 support. We have added a large set of utf8mb4 collations based on the latest Unicode standard. These collations have better support for emojis and languages. Utf8 is the dominating character encoding for the web, and this move will make the life easier for the vast majority of MySQL users. We also plan to add support for accent and case sensitive collations.
Please keep in mind that 8.0.0 is the first milestone release. There are quite a few features in the pipeline down the road.
Percona: How are some of the bridges between relational and NoSQL environments (like JSON support) of benefit to database deployments?
Manyi: The JSON support that we introduced in 5.7 has been immensely popular because it solves some very basic day-to-day problems. Relational database forces you to have a fixed schema, and the JSON datatype gives you the flexibility to store data without a schema. In the past, people stored relational data in MySQL and had to install yet another datastore to handle unstructured or semi-structured data that are schema-less in nature. With JSON support, you can store both relational and non-relational data in the same database, which makes database deployment much simpler. And not only that, but you can also perform queries across the boundaries of relational and non-relational data.
Clients that communicate with a MySQL Server using the newly introduced X Protocol can use the X DevAPI to develop applications. Developers do not even need to understand SQL if they do not want to. There are a number of connectors that support the X protocol, so you can use X DevApi in your preferred programming language. We have made MySQL more appealing to a larger range of developers.
Percona: What is the latest on the refactoring of the MySQL Optimizer and Parser?
Manyi: The codebase of optimizer and parser used to be quite messy. The parsing, optimizing and execution stages were intermingled, and the code was hard to maintain. We have had a long-running effort to clean up the codebase. In 5.7, the optimization stage was separated from the execution stage. In 8.0, the focus is refactoring the prepare stage and complete parser rewrite.
We have already seen the benefits of the refactoring work. Development time on new features has been reduced. CTE is a good example. Without refactoring done previously, it would have taken much longer to implement CTE. With a cleaner codebase, we also managed to reduce the bug count, which means more development resources can be allocated to new features instead of maintenance.
Percona: Where do you see MySQL heading in order to deal with some of the database trends that keep you awake at night?
Manyi: One industry trend is cloud computing and Database as a Service becoming viable options to in-house databases. In particular, it speeds up technology deployments and reduces initial investments for smaller organizations. MySQL, being the most popular open source database, fits well into the cloud data management trend.
What we can do is make MySQL even better in the cloud setting. E.g., better support for horizontal scaling, fail-over, sharding, cross-shard queries and the like.
Percona: What are looking forward to the most at Percona Live Europe this year?
Manyi: I like to speak and get feedback from MySQL users. Their input has a big impact on our roadmap. I also look forward to learning more about innovations by web-scale players like Facebook, Alibaba and others. I always feel more energized after talking to people who are passionate about MySQL and databases in general.
You can learn more about Manyi and her thoughts on MySQL 8.0 here: http://mysqlserverteam.com/
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